Did Comey Actually Destroy Hillary Clinton by ‘Exonerating’ Her?

I may be alone in saying this, but when the proverbial dust settles, James Comey may have hurt Hillary Clinton more than he helped her in his statement Tuesday concerning the Grand Email Controversy.  He may have let her off the hook legally, but personally he has left the putative Democratic candidate scarred almost beyond recognition.

By getting out in front of the Justice Department, the FBI director, speaking publicly in an admittedly unusual fashion, was able to frame the case in a manner that Attorney General Loretta Lynch in all probability never would have.

Read this portion of Comey's transcript and ask yourself how this person (Clinton) could ever serve successfully as president of the United States:

Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

Look at that last paragraph again, because, if the Republicans have any brains at all, they will be quoting it ad infinitum. "To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions." What Comey is clearly saying (and leaving for us to "decide now") is that--whether you agree with his decision not to indict or no (I don't)—in a normal, real-world situation Clinton would face consequences, quite probably be demoted or even fired, certainly not promoted to the presidency of the United States, for what she did.

Which brings me back to why Comey made this speech.